Sunday, April 1, 2012

Tactical withdrawal is not a defeat

I have just read Jason's post on the Barefoot Running University about how we can change our lives if we want to.  We should quit moaning and just make the changes to make our lives better.

I completely agree - Just STFU and do it!  I am very much of the ilk that life is what you make it and there is nothing you can't do if you really try.

However, I am also a believer in understanding which fights are worth fighting for.  Accepting defeat is not a weakness when you realise why you are doing it and you are in control of it.  Let's say it's not a defeat, but a tactical withdrawal instead.

So as you may know we have had our Permanent Residency declined because of D's Autism.  We could fight it, however, it would take hundreds of thousands of dollars, time and probably a lot of luck, hoping that the immigration officer is  having a nice day.

We love Canada, don't get me wrong and if we could, we would stay here forever, but we won't accept a solution that makes us less than residents.  The solution the Immigration department has mapped out for us will do just that.  We would be "tolerated visitors" with a PR stamp.  We won't do that.

The other situation is that the Canadian Immigration Department is now querying our work permits.  We could, but we never wanted to be in Canada on work permits indefinitely.  Why, when it means you get to stay?  Firstly, and most importantly for me, is the fact we can't vote.  Being part of the political process is important to me. I have balked and hated that I am unable to affect the country I live in.

Secondly, is the fact that although the work permits allow me to work, they don't allow me to re-train or work in schools.  They are also based on a one year period.  Many companies are reluctant to hire someone who may have to leave in less than a year.  At the moment, that's okay, I am not in a position to work, but in the future...

The fact that the Immigration Department is querying D's medical condition for the work permit is sending alarm signals.  The immigration lawyers believe that the next work permit issued will be the last - a "temporary measure whilst we investigate your situation further and then reject you" situation.

These are all conditions outside of our control and although it is something we could fight, the fight will make us compromise in ways that we cannot morally do.  We won't be Bullied by this country into making promises we have no way of guaranteeing we can keep.  I am not going to plan my life for the next 10 years, because in my experience that leads you to failure and stress.

If we are to be a part of this country, we want to be a full part of it.  Residency is a privilege not a right -- I understand that.  But obtaining qualified, educated and experienced workers as residents is not a privilege either.  A country has to prove that it is willing to take all a person has to offer and bring with them.  You can't just cherry-pick the parts you like and throw away the parts you don't.

Anyway, it appears at some point within the next 12 months we will be moving back to the UK.  Is this a defeat?  Not really.

I am glad we came here.  I am glad we have tried.  I don't want to leave, but I know that the fact we are going to have to leave at some point isn't our failing -- it's Canada's.  Standing up for ourselves and refusing to be bullied is not a failing it's a strength.

We are lucky that M is so well regarded in the industry, that getting a job should be quite easy.  It's very rare to have someone of his experience -- he has worked on pretty much every game console created since 1995.

So although, the move back to the UK can be seen as not trying hard enough, I fail to see it as that.  I see it as us utilising our rights as individuals to be respected by government.  We are taking our skills and going to go where they will be appreciated and where we will be accepted not only for our good parts, but the parts Canada is unwilling to recognise.

We aren't going to fight a battle that diminishes us.  We will use that energy to constructing something good from our lives and frankly that can be done anywhere.

Fighting, hate, rejection are all negative emotions that take away from us -- never add to us as a whole.  Working for the future, love and accepting others as we wish to be accepted is a positive force and that is what we are working on.

This isn't a defeat, it's a change of course that is bringing us peace and closer as a family.


  1. I'm so sorry Canada was unable to recognize your potential and worth as residents. You are amazing people and it will be Canada's loss to lose you.

  2. So sorry Kate. I agree with Vanessa

  3. Kate, I actually think your chosen course of action is perfectly in line with the idea of taking action by not letting Canada dictate your life. There's no "defeat" in your plan. You have a gift, take it somewhere that will be appreciated.

    Besides, I've had questions about Canada since this:

  4. Jason, next time warn me... *laugh* my 7 year old just learnt a whole new vocabulary in the 30 seconds it took me to close the window. ;)

  5. I have a lot of respect for your attitude. Good luck to you and your family wherever you choose to live.